WHD News Release: [02/18/2010]
Contact Name: Scott Allen or Leni Fortson
Phone Number: (312) 353-6976 or (215) 861-5102
Release Number: 10-0158-NEW
US Department of Labor seeks nearly $1.9 million in back wages and penalties from Newark, NJ, computer consulting company following investigation
Company could face a 2-year debarment from participating in H-1B program
NEWARK, N.J. The U.S. Department of Labor has cited Peri Software Solutions Inc. and Sarib Perisamya, president and owner, for alleged violations of the H-1B provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act, uncovering $1,456,422 in back wages due to 163 workers.
"The actions of Peri Software Solutions demonstrate the kind of abuses that our laws are designed to prevent," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Every worker deserves to be paid for his or her work, and the Labor Department is committed to holding those companies that violate our nation's labor laws accountable."
An investigation by the department's Wage and Hour Division found that the Newark company failed to pay the required prevailing wage to workers hired as computer analysts under the H-1B program. Investigators also found that the company forced employees to sign employment contracts and then sued them when those contracts were broken. Due to the willful nature of the violations, the company also has been assessed a civil monetary penalty of $439,000 and faces a potential two-year debarment from the H-1B program by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The H-1B visa program permits employers to temporarily hire foreign workers in professional occupations such as computer programmers, engineers, physicians and teachers. H-1B workers must be paid the same wage rates paid to U.S. workers who perform the same types of work or the prevailing wage rate in the areas of intended employment, whichever is higher.
The Wage and Hour Division enforces the H-1B wage provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act, in addition to other federal laws pertaining to wage payments. For more information about the H1-B program, call the division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or visit http://www.dol.gov/whd. The division's Northern New Jersey office can be reached at 908-317-8611.